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Forum Spotlight - Affluenza

Posted Dec 13, 2007 by Jon Wood

Forum Spotlight - Affluenza

Not to be confused with the viral influenzsa, affluena is actually "a state of extreme materialism which is the impetus for accumulating wealth and for overconsumption of goods; also, feelings of guilt and isolation from the dysfunctional pursuit of wealth and goods." In her Forum Spotlight, Laura Genender looks at a thread that tackles this interesting concept in how it relates to MMORPGs.

“Affluenza” is one of those twenty dollar words that you find only in places like Jeopardy or http://www.FreeRice.com (which is, by the way, an awesome little game for a good cause). Never would I expect to find this word explained or even mentioned on the MMORPG.com forums. But oh, how apt it is.

Affluenza is, according to Dictionary.com, a state of extreme materialism which is the impetus for accumulating wealth and for overconsumption of goods; also, feelings of guilt and isolation from the dysfunctional pursuit of wealth and goods. In her thread “Selfishness of Society Reflected in MMOs?” poster Violette draws a direct comparison from the real life Affluenza to the virtual version which haunts gameplay. How many of us gamers spend hours and days farming gold to buy The One Epic Item, then feel a sense of total letdown once you finally get there? How many of us get The One Epic Item, then suddenly need The Better Epic Item?

Read the whole column here.

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